KOCHI: What’s in a name? The old bard’s question has taken a different connotation with the LDF Government adamant on updating the name of the SCERT director on school text books. Result: Dumping of over 13 lakh books and a loss of`1.3 crore to the state exchequer.
The Kerala Books and Publications Society officers said the government has asked them to get rid of over 13 lakh text books carrying the name of former SCERT director P A Fathima. “We have a buffer stock of over 25 lakh school text books. Among this, 12 lakh book cannot be used since the government decided to split them into three volumes. However, 13 lakh books can be distributed this year but we are forced to discard them and print new copies since they carry the name of former SCERT director. The text book officer of the government has asked us to reprint the books using the name of new director J Prasad, resulting in a loss of `1.3 crore,” said a KBPS officer on condition of anonymity.
The government needs to spend `10, including the paper and labour costs, for printing each book. “The only option available with us now is to sell the books at a paper cost. The loss could have been avoided if the government allowed the KBPS to distribute the books carrying the name of the former SCERT director,” said a top officer.
“We have informed the Education Minister and secretary about this. A memorandum has been submitted seeking to print only the designation of officers in the books to be printed for the second term. So, we can avoid such incidents,” said KBPS Managing Director, Tomin J Thachankary. SCERT director J Prasad said: “As per the government policy, books with more number of pages have been split into three parts. We have not directed the KBPS to change the name on the text books. They are just mitigating their loss by redistributing the old stock,” said Prasad. Usha Titus, secretary general, Education Dept, was unavailable for comment.